VisitBritain hosts first UK travel trade roadshow to Australia in a decade

Some of the best of ‘destination’ Britain will on show to hundreds of Australian travel agents and operators next week as VisitBritain hosts its first travel trade roadshow to the country since 2006.

The VisitBritain roadshow will travel through Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from May 3-5 with 19* UK suppliers spanning culture, heritage and sport to music experiences and attractions, showcasing regional Britain’s latest tourism offerings to more than 500 Australian travel agents.

Australia is a £1 billion market for Britain delivering more than 1 million visits each year.  There are direct flights between six British gateway cities and visitors from Australia not only stay longer in Britain, averaging just more than 14 nights, they also travel further, with more than half visiting the English regions, one in seven visiting Scotland and 7% travelling to Wales. 

VisitBritain/VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

Australia is Britain’s fourth most valuable inbound market and the injection of additional investment signals a new start to our promotional effort in this market. Increased investment is being directed towards B2B marketing and collaboration with the travel industry and the first of these projects is the Australia trade mission which is making a comeback after 10 years.”

Birmingham Airport’s Airline and Travel Trade Relationship Manager, Mandy Haque, who is attending the trade event said:

“We’re really looking forward to taking part in this trade event hosted by VisitBritain and the opportunity to meet face-to-face with hundreds of travel agents in Australia. It’s a fantastic opportunity not only to promote Birmingham Airport but also to showcase all that the Midlands region has to offer. The recent introduction of more world class carriers, including Qatar, has meant our airport has never been so well connected to Australia.”

Circle Hotels Chief Executive David Horsley, who is also attending said:

“With our consortium of small independent hotels, inns and B&Bs, the Australian market is vitally important for us.  Recent listings with major national wholesalers gives the travel trade easy access to book these properties and we are attending the event to promote both the profile of this style of accommodation as being ‘bookable’ and how accessible it is for the trade.”

Recognising the importance of the market, Australia has been designated as one of Britain’s GREAT tourism markets along with the USA, Germany, France, the Gulf region, China and India.

The trade roadshow follows VisitBritain’s largest annual trade event, ExploreGB, hosted in Liverpool in March. ExploreGB brought more than 300 leading travel companies from across the world, including Australia, to the UK to do business with British suppliers, taking them around the country to experience more of the tourism offerings available across Britain‘s nations and regions.

Latest figures show that 2016 is off to a cracking start for inbound tourism with back-to-back record breaking figures for January and February.

Last year set a record for inbound tourism to Britain with 35.8 million visits, 4% up on 2014. Comparing growth over the last five years shows that there were six million more visits in 2015 than 2010, an increase of 20%.

Inbound tourism is worth more than £26 billion to the UK economy.


Notes to editors:

  • All figures are taken from the International Passenger Survey, Office for National Statistics. Detailed inbound figures available
  • *UK supplier partners include - An English Collection, Barton Hill Travel,  Beatles Story (The), Big Bus Tours,  Birmingham Airport, CIE Tours International,  Circle Hotels & B&B,  City Sightseeing Worldwide, E-Voyages Group,  Experience Oxfordshire, Historic Royal Palaces, Liverpool Football Club, made, Mansley Group, Operation Europe, Transport for London,  Travel Connection Sport, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum & Tour.